DETROIT – Jaguar’s ’03 X-Type will start with a sub-$30,000 sticker, Ward's learns, as the auto maker attempts to increase the car’s appeal through price reductions.

An ’03 X-Type equipped with manual transmission and Jaguar’s 2.5L AJ V-6 engine will start – including delivery and destination charges – at $29,950. That’s down from the ’02 price of $30,595.

Similarly, the ’03 X-Type Sport model – with manual transmission and the 2.5L V-6 – falls to $31,950 from the ’02 price of $32,595.

Jaguar X-Type

"We wanted to make it more accessible," a Jaguar spokesman explains.

The sticker on the ’03 3L X-Type with automatic transmission will increase to $36,950, and $38,950 for the base and Sport model, respectively.

Prices for the ’02 were $36,595 and $38,595. However, the spokesman says, 17-in. alloy wheels and an audio system featuring a single-disc CD player were made standard equipment on the 3L base model. These add-ons, plus an automatic-dimming rear-view mirror, are on the ’03 Sport.

Jaguar also is better prepared to meet customer demand, the spokesman says.

The 2.5L powerplant is proving the most popular of the two choices offered in X-Type, but this was something Jaguar did not anticipate. As a result, the initial production schedule was skewed in favor of 3L models and orders were briefly backlogged (see related story: British Brand Finds Satisfaction).

The most popular configuration: the 2.5L X-Type with automatic transmission, moonroof and leather interior package.